America had often been discovered before Columbus, but it had always been hushed up.
- Oscar Wilde, Irish writer and wit (1854-1900)
History is indeed a strange bird, as evidenced by this quote. Remember, Wilde lived more than a century ago.
Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was quite correct about the existence of the Americas being known long before Columbus. But it was not well known to the elite of western Europe who controlled the printing and expression of history over most of the period since Columbus set sail.
It was even taught to students in western Europe and North America that Columbus discovered America in 1492. Many countries in the Americas celebrate Columbus Day or some variation thereof.
In fact, the Chinese were in Canada at least one century before Columbus. The "god" Glooscap (likely a Chinese ship captain) is well known in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia from that period. The foundations for elaborate stone structures remain, but the Chinese left by 1425, long before Columbus persuaded the merciless Isabella and Ferdinand to sponsor his voyages to the New World to find treasure in "India."
Columbus, a mapmaker by trade, even located an island (now known as Cape Breton, known to Columbus and his contemporaries as the Isle of Seven Cities) on a world map he made in 1490. He couldn't have "discovered" what he already knew existed two years before he set sail.
Besides, Columbus never did set foot on the mainland of the Americas, though he spent time on several islands of the Caribbean and was governor of one until his "subjects" had him removed for being such a horrible leader. He was not an explorer, but an advance man for future trading expeditions on behalf of Spain.
Before the Chinese, the Vikings (Norse) established a settlement in the Canadian province of Newfoundland somewhere around the turn of the First Millennium, at least 500 years before Columbus.
The Grand Banks were no doubt fished by sailors from Norse countries and Iceland for centuries before the Chinese or the Norse created a settlement with foundations that didn't rot because they were made of wood. Both what today we know as the Grand Banks and the shoreline of northern Canada appeared on Norse and Portuguese maps long before the Newfoundland settlement.
Sailors, scholars and mapmakers never believed that the world was flat. Though a Flat Earth Society still exists today, the concept was an invention of the Church of Rome (for reasons that remain obscure). It's first flat earth was a square. Later the flat earth was changed to a circle because sailors couldn't find the corners of the square no matter how far they sailed. Nor could they find the edge of the flat, but that was another story the church hushed up.
A map of the Antarctic was made within a few decades of the first Columbus voyage, even though no Europeans that sailed for their monarchs visited that coldest of all lands until centuries later. That map shows the actual land of Antarctica, the part under the ice. What we know today by satellite photos is an Antarctica that is much larger than the land itself because it includes the ice around the continent. Most of the actual land can't be seen under the ice.
That particular map is not commonly discussed in public or classrooms because no one seems to know how the land could be mapped if it was covered by ice one to two kilometres thick. If there were no ice there at the time (Europe was in its Little Ice Age), then how does that speak to the predictions by global warming advocates who say that all coastal cities will be inundated when the Antarctic ice melts in our future?
For the land to have been mapped, it must not have been covered by ice. As little snow falls in Antarctica, it must have taken ages for that much ice to accumulate. Why were coastal cities not under water in those times?
History, as students who study it thoroughly discover, is a managed form of propaganda. Those who pay to have the history books printed hold the power to manipulate what is written.
When I was in high school, almost everything we studied in history class was about wars and events that surrounded them. We were led to believe that the world was constantly at war and that what was important for us as students to learn was the dates and places where the most important battles took place.
No one studied the people, the cultures and the lifestyles that existed in the places of history between wars. In those days, the history that was not managed by the nobility of Europe was concocted by the Church of Rome.
Today we know that people do have lives between and during wars. Most of us are living such lives.
It would pay us to remember that people make history, not wars. Some want us to believe that wars still dominate the world and that those who do not believe in war or who want to focus on peace should not have a say.
Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems, striving to put life and history into prespective.
Learn more at http://billallin.com